3 PAGES IN LENGTH… THE MAIN REFERENCE IS ATTACHED. PLEASE CHOSE AT LEAST 1 ADDITONAL REFERNCE.For the Module 1 SLP, we will continue our research into why good organizations resist change. To this extent, please visit the library, and find the following text: Brown, B. B. (2002). Easy step by step guide to managing change. Havant: Crimson eBooks. Retrieved from EBSCO eBook Collection. Read the chapter entitled “Organization barriers to change.” In this chapter, you will note several key barriers that cause organizations to resist needed change. Namely, these are: Unclear objectives; Inappropriate structures; and Poor communications. It is important to note the author’s emphasis that any one of these factors create organization-wide resistance to change because they have become part of the organization’s status quo. After reading the chapter “Organization barriers to change,” respond to the following in a well-written, 3-4-page paper: Part One: Description Think of an experience you have had with an organization that failed to change when change was needed. Describe the change and explain why the organizational change you identify was needed. Describe what negative consequences (or outcomes) resulted from the organization’s failure to enact the needed change. What were the costs to the organization (e.g., poor employee morale, loss of customers, poor company image, financial losses, etc.)? Part Two: Application and Analysis Apply Brown’s (2002) perspective to demonstrate how unclear objectives, inappropriate structures, or poor communications contributed to the resistance to change in this organization. In other words, explain how Brown helps us understand why the barrier you have selected caused organization-wide resistance to needed change (keep in mind that we are focused on organization-wide – and not on individual – resistance to change). Part Three: Solution and Recommendations Finally, as a leader, what could you have done to avoid or minimize this resistance to change? Be specific, and be sure that your recommended actions target the barrier you identified in Part Two (e.g. unclear objectives, inappropriate structures, or poor communications). Be sure that you “connect the dots” by making a clear argument regarding how these specific recommendations would have helped the organization implement the needed change without resistance. If the resistance to change is ongoing, what suggestions do you have for resolving this problem going forward?
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4
Organisation barriers
to change
While various factors are attacking the status quo,
acting as drivers for change, parts of the status quo
will strongly defend the existing structure. This is done
by erecting barriers to any change that may be proposed.
Organisation barriers will usually aim to support failings in one or more of the following areas:
• unclear objectives
• inappropriate structures
• poor communications
all of which are likely to have become entrenched in
the status quo (see the diagram on page 26).
25
unclear
objectives

inappropriate
structures

status quo
poor
communications

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All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.
Managing Change
Because we generally like things to stay the way they
are, these barriers create a very strong force to maintain the status quo in the organisation. Therefore it is
vital to be able to understand how we can identify,
improve and use these organisation factors constructively rather than allow them to undermine the change
that is necessary if the organisation is to survive.
Unclear objectives
People cannot support change if they do not know
what is expected of them, particularly when those
expectations encompass new procedures. At an overall organisational level this means knowing what the
organisation (the sum of all its resources) expects to
achieve over a given time period – its objectives.
Does your organisation have a set of overall objectives, possibly called its mission
and goals? If so, get hold of a copy, or write
them down for yourself. Keep them handy
because you will need to add to this information as the chapter progresses.
?
26
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Organisation barriers to change
Most organisations operate as a collection of smaller,
individual departments or sections. To be effective and
to take the first step in gaining the commitment of all
employees to organisation change it is necessary for
every department to have contributed to the original
design of the change objectives. That is, you cannot
hold people responsible for change plans to which they
have not contributed their views and therefore their
commitment!
Were your change goals agreed as a result of contributions from all departments
and staff? If not, this would be a good point
to circulate them to everyone and to ask for
some feedback. The first step to getting total
commitment to change is to get total contribution to the design of original goals for
change!
?
Organisation change objectives can be couched in different management jargon but invariably add up to
the same thing – a series of value statements about
the organisation, often comprising one or more of the
following:

vision – a long-term visualisation of what the
organisation will look like in the future
• mission – what the organisation expects to achieve
in the long term
• goals/aims – specific factors to be achieved in the
short term
27
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Managing Change

objectives – significant, measurable actions necessary to achieve the stated goals

values – standards of behaviour that should be
observed by everyone when actioning objectives.
VISION, MISSION, GOALS, AIMS,
OBJECTIVES and VALUES are just buzz-words
– don’t get hung up on buzz-words!
What is important is that everyone knows what
you and the organisation expect from them.
Since every person in an organisation must share in,
and contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s mission and goals, if change is to be effectively implemented, it is important that they are
written in language that is memorable, easily understood and concise.
This then makes it an easy task for employees at every
level to continually remind themselves of the targets
and issues for which they are personally responsible.
Go back to your organisation goals and
read them through again. Would you say
that they are memorable, written in straightforward language and short enough for everyone in the organisation to remember? If you
are not sure, it might be a good idea to ask
several employees to tell you what they think
the organisation’s change goals are. Can you
think of ways that the goals can be amended to
make them simpler and more memorable? If
you can, write down your ideas and keep them
until you have read the next section.
?
28
Some organisations have laborious ‘mission and goals’
statements, which are forgotten almost as quickly as
they are written. The more complex the organisation
the more likely it is to have a long value statement
though it can be argued that this should not be necessary – it is also more likely that few, if any, employees would be able to tell you what they were.
Memorable statements often are very short phrases
or even single words – for example:
NO SURPRISES (Holiday Inns)
ENTHUSE – DEVELOP – SUPPORT – DELIVER
(Training organisation)
Cascading objectives
In a typical organisation there will be a hierarchy of
levels through which change initiatives and the
organisation goals have to be cascaded:
Executive

Manager

Supervisor

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Organisation barriers to change
Front line
29
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Managing Change
This cascading process should ensure that:

the executive team determines what actions it
needs to take, at this level, and write individual or
collective targets to focus on how executive activities will achieve the required change

the managers of each department or section write
and agree with staff the departmental targets to
be achieved to ensure that the department’s activities will contribute directly to the achievement
of the required change and the organisation’s objectives

individuals have agreed targets, the achievement
of which will help to achieve departmental goals
and ultimately those of the organisation.
The aim of this cascading process is to focus every
employee’s performance on activities that will contribute to the overall success of the change process, however remote he or she may be from the centre of
operation, the focus of change or from the consumer
of the organisation’s products or services.
In many large organisations, and perhaps also in yours,
individual goals/objectives are sometimes called by a
buzz-title such as:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Result Areas (KRAs).
Personal objectives aim to improve individual
capability and performance, and increase
contribution to organisation success!
30
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Organisation barriers to change
Whatever you call them, personal objectives must focus on areas that add directly to the target changes.
Ultimately, your aim will be to improve the capabilities of the people in your team, so enhancing their
individual performance, the contribution they make
to the team, and the value they add to the
organisation as the change is successfully introduced.
To be effective, individual change objectives should
be:
• specific – clearly identifiable in terms of what you
require to be done
• measurable – written so that you will be able to
measure performance against them, i.e. what will
be done by when and how will we know?
• achievable – set at a level which stretches the individual but which you know can be achieved by
the individual (with your support) in order to maintain and encourage the individual’s motivation to
achieve
• realistic and agreed – by the staff member to
whom they apply
• regularly monitored – by you and to a schedule
that maintains high performance.
31
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Managing Change
If you would like an easy way to remember these characteristics, use the ‘SMART’ mnemonic:
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
Time focused.
A balanced view of objectives
One of the things you may have thought about in
Chapter 3 is that the drivers for change can become
intermingled rather than identifiable in the neat sections mentioned.
This is possibly true and is a good reason why you
should try to create ‘balanced’ objectives across all the
drivers rather than rely on objectives couched only in
financial or statistical terms, such as ‘Achieve a 10 per
cent increase in sales by the end of the year’. This type
of goal ignores what the effect might be on customers and staff in the long-term as a result of working
towards that 10 per cent achievement.
Areas such as customer satisfaction, organisation systems, development of new products or services etc.
may not have goals that are absolutely objective. If
you are to get the maximum benefits from a change
process, it is important that you are able to identify
the really vital factors, without which organisation
change has little chance of success in the long term.
32
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Organisation barriers to change
For most change processes the following factors are
likely to have the greatest impact (though you may
want to add other areas for your organisation!):
• customer satisfaction – the ability to deliver an
enhanced level of products/services to current and
potential customers during and following the
change process
• organisation development – the ability to learn
continually from your change experiences so as to
add positive advantages as you go along and create ongoing competitive advantage
• people optimisation – the ability to attract, keep
and develop the right people to optimise change
and continually deliver excellent performance in
the future
• organisation processes – the ability and willingness to change and manage the organisation’s processes and systems to support all other factors to a
high level
• financial ability – the ability to achieve financial
targets and satisfy the needs of the current business and its investors (if any), and future capital requirements, through and from the change process.
When you began to design, or review, your
organisation objectives earlier, did you
take into account the areas detailed above?
If you think that this way of thinking might be
helpful to your organisation, would it be useful for you to group your objectives under
these headings? Once you have done so, are
there any gaps that need to be addressed?
?
33
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Managing Change
If you complete this exercise, you have probably begun the blueprint for successful change in your
organisation!*
By suggesting this process, I am trying to encourage
you to focus on the measures that are likely to be most
critical to the organisation’s future, and to get you to
consider all operational measures together rather than
concentrate only on financial indicators.
This creates a ‘balanced’ view of what will make your
change processes successful because it will almost certainly concentrate your organisation’s efforts on the
really important issues.
Inappropriate structure
Organisations will often spend a great deal of time
and money discussing and planning quite complex
changes while ignoring one of the most fundamental
questions – ‘Can our proposed changes work within
the framework or structure of the organisation as we
know it?’
If you think about your organisation and its history
you will possibly realise that the current structure and
operational framework has developed and grown over
the years and literally controls how you work today.
But everything has moved on and you are possibly
planning more, perhaps radical, changes in the future.
Can you assume that that same structure you have
had until now will happily support the ‘new’ present
and the ‘new’ future?
* More information and guidelines on designing objectives can be found in our sister book, the
Easy Step by Step Guide, Motivating your Staff for Better Performance.
34
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Organisation barriers to change
Think about the changes that have oc
curred during your time with the
organisation, and/or the changes being
planned. Are there signs of the organisation
structure not being able to cope or things
having to be done ‘outside the rules’ to make
them work? How do you think your structure
could be improved to support current change?
?
We are used to hierarchical types of structure in our
organisations and you are unusual if you do not have
layers and levels of authority and responsibility in your
organisation. In recent times, ‘down-sizing’ or ‘rightsizing’ and ‘empowerment’ have been presented as
changes to traditional organisation structure, but in
most cases such initiatives have not been realistically
and totally embraced by changing organisations. Despite committing (in words) to empowerment, there
remains in many organisations the same type of ‘rod
and staff’ hierarchical chain of command though with
perhaps fewer layers.
Fashions of this nature may have provided sufficient
incentive for some organisations to review their operational frameworks but all too often it has led to
little effective structural change. Most organisations
are likely to go through different processes before
addressing the real problems they face – ones that
require, by then, radical change. Such processes are
likely to include:
• tightening the bootlaces – cutting costs, staff, product ranges, production ranges etc. in order to become more cost-efficient
35
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Managing Change

revising the plans, budgets, forecasts and targets
in the light of poor performance

putting the organisation into a downward operational spiral to reflect the ever-deteriorating situation.
The question that needs to be asked when looking at
any organisation structure is, ‘If we were setting up
this organisation, department, office, or team today,
would we set it up in the way it is now?’
Ask yourself that question about your area
of responsibility. Does every operation
work really smoothly and well? Does it interface with all the other operations in the department and in the whole organisation?
Could things work better?
?
How would you design your area if you were
setting up a completely new organisation today?
Something that has become apparent in recent years
is that patterns of work are changing, partly because
of the growth of technology but also because of global competition and changing attitudes. What we can
observe is that organisations are beginning to appreciate the need to:
• identify and develop a professional core of workers,
essential to the organisation, who own the
organisation knowledge which distinguishes the
organisation from its competitors. This core is cosseted
and well-paid to ensure loyalty and commitment
36
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Organisation barriers to change
• contract out non-essential work to sub-contractors
who can carry out the work cheaper than the
company’s own staff. In fact, this group may be
the company’s ex-staff who have set up small businesses to provide specialist services
• hire in for specific projects part-time and temporary workers, or consultants, who take their skills
to more than one employer to meet surges in demand or extended working hours and shift patterns. Some of these workers will operate from
home or from local technology centres, rather than
from expensive city-centre offices.
Does any of the above ‘ring a bell’ for you?
Are any of these methods being used, or
could be beneficially used, in your organisation?
?
What you need to ensure is that your organisation
structure:
• matches and supports your change initiatives; for
example, implementing entrepreneurial change
will be made difficult within a bureaucratic and
rule-based structure
• eliminates barriers between departments and functions by involving everyone in a simultaneous
change process
• contains a balanced view of the importance of all
the organisation factors that will make change
37
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Managing Change
happen and work – people, processes, resources
and finance.
Any structure that is not part of, and programmed to
change with, the change initiative being implemented
will almost certainly harness the strength of the status quo to prevent the desired change happening!
Poor communications
Whenever I, working as a change consultant, talk with
employees about what they see as the problems facing the organisation, they almost always highlight
communication as the major problem.
Most employees feel that they are not told enough
about what is going on and are not trusted to contribute to solving problems. Employers feel that important strategic information, such as intended change
initiatives, cannot be divulged to people lower down
the organisation. The irony is that, more often than
not, people through the whole organisation are aware
that ‘something is going on’ or ‘something needs to
happen’ and are probably talking about it anyway
whether they are correct or not in their guesswork.
People who are not told what is happening
will tend to make it up anyway!
Is this what you want?
It is for all these reasons that, later in this book, I devote a complete chapter to such an important subject.
38
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Organisation barriers to change
In summary
• barriers that the organisation can present to any
proposed change usually fall under the headings:
• unclear objectives
• inappropriate structure
• poor communications
• objectives become clear when they:
involve SMART design;
involve the contributi …
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